“Of course we want to win the German Championship.”
BVB defender Mats Hummels
Youngsters in awe, black and yellow jerseys, and a stadium-like atmosphere: On Friday, 12 July, two soccer stars from Borussia Dortmund took center stage on what usually serves as the podium for presenting new Opel models to employees. Mats Hummels and Mario Götze with a delegation from BVB visited the foyer of the Adam Opel Haus at the headquarters of the Rüsselsheim-based manufacturer shortly before their first pre-season match against district league club FC 1959 Schweinberg (which ended 10-0).
The highlight of the visit came when BVB legend and stadium announcer Norbert “Nobby” Dickel asked the two German world champions and Sebastian Kehl, head of the contract players department and former national player,to join him on stage for an interview in front of about 1,000 employees and their families.
Mats Hummels, who just re-joined Dortmund from FC Bayern Munich, stressed out the goals for the coming Bundesliga season. “We have tremendous quality in the team and a good spirit, and of course we want to win the German championship. This is our goal and it is important to embody this on and off the pitch,” the 30-year-old defender said.
Mario Götze – scorer of the winning goal at the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina (1-0) and current runner-up with BVB – added: “We have four weeks to get ready for the new season. Our goal is to continue where we left off last season and take it up another notch.”
“Opel and the BVB suit each other well – like the colours black-yellow and yellow-black. We both share the same approachability, professionality and ambition. I am delighted that we could stage this exclusive event for our employees – thank you very much to our partners for that. The BVB is well prepared for the new season. I am looking forward to our continuing cooperation,” said Opel CEO Lohscheller after the expert talk.
A Long-standing Partnership
Opel and BVB have been working together since the 2012/2013 season, and the close relationship was further intensified at the start of the 2017/18 season. Opel is also one of the club’s strategic partners. The company’s logo features on the BVB jersey sleeves.
Before talking about soccer, the BVB delegation including Hummels, Götze, Kehl as well as BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer, Managing Director of Sales, Marketing & Digitalization, completed an extensive visit and information program.
In the morning, Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller, Vice President Communications Harald Hamprecht, and Christina Herzog, Head of Marketing for Opel Germany, welcomed the BVB management to the Design Center in Rüsselsheim. Design Director Friedhelm Engler offered the guests some insights into Opel’s design language and gave an outlook on Opel’s future product range. Centerpiece of the conversation was the new Opel Corsa-e, which also happened to be on display in the lobby and served as a backdrop for the many pictures the guests and hosts took.
A look back on Opel’s history
Along with the outlook came a look back, as a visit to the Opel Classic was on the agenda next. Lined by numerous historical models, Opel Classic expert Jens Cooper guided the interested guests through 157 years of company history, gilded with many details and anecdotes.
The next stop was the Adam Opel Haus, where Michael Lohscheller thanked the delegation for their visit and subsequently gave the floor to BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Watzke committed the only foul of the day when he greeted the attending “Opelianer.” But in view of the threatening expulsion he corrected himself quickly and drew a positive conclusion: “That was a great day in Rüsselsheim, it felt like being with family. We have seen a lot and we are impressed.”
Looking ahead towards a common future
Much like his players, the BVB CEO also offered a look forward, but with a focus on the manufacturer from Rüsselsheim. “Opel has a bright future ahead. The up-coming models like the new Corsa – especially the electric version – are just right for these times,” Watzke stated.
“We are very pleased to see how all the efforts of the past years are putting Opel back on the road to success. As long-standing partners we feel proud to be part of this success story.” The next chapter of the BVB story already has a name: ’Mission Championship’.